New Jersey accedes to Verizon?s FiOS demands

Two years ago, the New Jersey state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) found that Verizon had failed to live up to its 1993 commitment to deliver high-speed Internet service to the state by 2010. Verizon had collected hundreds of millions of dollars in extra phone fees to finance the buildout, but still had not wired the state.

Yesterday, after years of legal wrangling, the BPU essentially told Verizon, “That’s OK. Forget it.” According to North Jersey.com, the BPU “... voted unanimously in favor of the settlement, essentially agreeing with Verizon's position that today's high-speed wireless service, known as 4G, was an acceptable substitute in some areas for broadband service carried by copper or fiber-optic lines.”

In short, Verizon no longer has to “... provide broadband to customers who already have such service from cable TV providers or who have access to 4G service.”

BPU chair Dianne Solomon said that there is “clearly confusion” over the original deal. On the other hand, CWA state political and legislative director Seth Hahn, was less enthused. He said:

“Well, Verizon certainly got their money's worth today from their high-priced lobbyists... The agreement in 1993 promised high-speed Internet to every home and business in New Jersey. Verizon can now ridiculously declare that DSL – which can't even stream a movie off Netflix – is high-speed infrastructure capable of meeting 21st-century needs.”

Verizon, N.J. reach deal on internet service dispute (North Jersey.com, Apr. 24, 2014)